Disney Villains Varnish: Nail Polish Collection

I first read about these gorgeous little meta bottles of joy on another blog, and I was instantly lusting. The funky shaped bottles, the Disney theme, the artistically- styled villains; I mean, seriously, what’s not to love? Just check out these ladies! Look at their dresses! Their hair! Their total fabulousness!

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I was gutted, however, that they were seemingly impossible to get hold of unless you were American. So just imagine my delight when I came across them in the Disney store! I cannot tell you how fast I scooped up a box and squirreled it home, anxious to try them out.

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Flawless presentation to be sure. Bravo Disney, bravo. Anyway, let’s get stuck in.

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Cruella De Vil: A rather striking, but generic, shade of bright red.

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Went on nicely, and was very bright, but…it’s just red. There are sooo many reds. Perfectly serviceable, but just…ordinary. I think a red with black and white spots would have been awesome, a  proper Dalmatians polish, but what do I know.

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 Evil Queen: Black, with fine red glitter particles.

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I was sooo disappointed with this one. This looked so gorgeous in the bottle that I had it pegged as a winner, but then for some reason it went matte when I put it on. Taking away the gloss of the Evil Queen is utterly unforgivable if you ask me, and ruined any chance this polish had of being fabulous.

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 Maleficent: A shimmery turquoise blue/green.

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This one confused the hell out of me. Admittedly it’s been a while since I’ve seen the film, but doesn’t this colour seem totally off? I thought a purple would be better suited, surely? Is she really blue?! I think this would have been better suited to Ursula, frankly, but again, what do I know. Nice colour, but another that could have been in any collection.

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 Mother Gothel: A rich maroon/brown.

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I actually quite liked this one. It’s very rich, and a gorgeous, deep shade. But…it’s brown! Brown! I think it’s a testament to my disappointment with this collection that a plain brown polish ended up being on the high end of the spectrum.

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Queen of Hearts: A bright yellowy gold with shimmer particles.

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A nice, warm gold, and I really liked the tiny shimmers, but I think, given the extreme nature of the Queen herself, that it’s just too subtle. It should have been GOLD gold. Like, nails wrapped in foil gold. And the lack of hearts is frankly ridiculous.

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Ursula: A pale pearlescent pink/lilac with silver shimmer particles.

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Meh. Pretty. Pale. Nothingness. This is a perfectly nice polish, but it feels like it belongs in the Disney Princess collection. This is URSULA. This is the woman with the deep throaty voice and kinky black tentacles, the woman who uses dead animals for lipstick and boomed ‘BODY LANGUAGE!’ in such an overtly sexual way that my pre-teen self didn’t know how to handle it. She is the ultimate of sexy, womanly villains, and to pass her off with this flimsy pale pink is pretty unforgivable.

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In case you can’t tell, I was disappointed. The idea was fab, but it felt badly done, like they had randomly assigned colours to anyone.  I felt like they really could have done some amazing things if they had put some thought into it! Every time I painted in a colour, I was imagining what could have been, how much better I could have done it.

Given the awesome potential that this idea had, I feel even more disappointed by how it turned out. I don’t think it’s just Disney, to be fair; I’ve seen a ton of TV and Film tie ins that just didn’t live up to their potential. I feel like someone should definitely give me the job of creating these products; there’s no way I would let a Cruella De Vil polish out of the door without black and white spots, and don’t even get me STARTED on the Queen of Hearts…

MUA Pro-Base Prime & Conceal Powder

Today I am reviewing MUA’s Prime & Conceal Powder from their Pro-Base range. There are 3 reasons why I picked up this powder.

  1. I was looking for a new powder, and Instead of the matte finish I usually favour, I decided I wanted something a little more glowy.
  2. It’s MUA, and I am a huge fan of every little thing that they do.
  3. It’s got 4 pretty colours and it looks awesome.

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I spotted this a few months back, and though I was intrigued, I didn’t buy it simply because I had no clue what the hell it was.

To be honest, I still don’t really. The packaging is less than enlightening. The only thing it says on the back of the compact is the following; “A baked, silk touch colour correcting powder that transforms your complexion.”

Lack of commas aside, this description is incredibly vague. It doesn’t explain anything other than what is blatantly obvious. A quick look on the website gave me these two further sentences;

“Apply this powder to help even out skin tone and illuminate. Wear alone or over your makeup to instantly brighten!” 

A little more helpful, at least. We now know that this will even skin tone. It also illuminates and brightens, which is exactly what I was looking for. I had a look at a few reviews, and people seemed impressed, so I invested in one.

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I was super impressed by how cool it looked, but I still didn’t really know what to do with it. I know that green counteracts red, and I know that you’re meant to use yellow on your eyes, but what about the rest of it?? Again, I went to the MUA website…

“Peach – This will warm up any blue hues around your eyes, you can also use this to cover a bruise if you’ve had a bump. 

Lilac – Use this to brighten dull skin tones and counteract yellow tones. 

Yellow – This works especially well on olive and tanned complexions to brighten around your eyes.

Green – This will neutralise red tones in your complexion – if you have rosacea then apply this underneath your foundation.” 

It was at this point that I started to feel a bit cheated. As far as I can tell, peach and yellow do exactly the same thing. I also found the idea that this super pale green powder would neutralise rosacea laughable; this powders are all so pale that you can barely see them doing a gosh darn thing. Seriously. I applied them in all the right places, and my skin looked EXACTLY the same.

MUA then go on to add this gem;

“#MUATip – Remember to apply your skin tone concealer after you’ve corrected the colour to avoid a multi-coloured complexion!” 

I think you’re seriously overreaching there, MUA. I think I would struggle to have anyone notice I have anything on at all, let alone be shocked by my blindingly bright rainbow face.

Plain arm on the left...and with colour stripes on the right. OMG, sooo multi-coloured, amirite?!

Plain arm on the left…and with colour stripes on the right. OMG, sooo multi-coloured, amirite?!

 

I proper layered in those pictures, too. I put on a good 10 fingerfuls before I gave up. There is an incredibly vague, super light amount of colour to each of these, but any attempt at blending will whisk it away in an instant. Pretty much, don’t bother.

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I hadn’t totally given up; I was still hoping that it would work as an all over illuminator, which of course is what I wanted it for. I grabbed a brush, gave it a swirl and covered my face in powder.

It made no difference.

Like, less than no difference. I think actually not putting it on would have been more effective. It doesn’t make me look luminous. It doesn’t correct my skin tone or brighten or do anything of note. It does literally sod all.

I’m willing to believe that maybe I’m using it wrong, somehow, but until someone proves this to me I will just have to assume that all the people who gave it good reviews are on some kind of trendy new hallucinogenic drug.

I bet this looks hella bright on LSD.

I bet this looks hella bright on LSD.

I still think it’s pretty. But I wasn’t exactly hoping to frame it, so that’s no good for anything either.

I tried to like it, I really did, but what am I supposed to do with it? it has no discernible use. I truly believe I could layer this on until I hit the pan, and still not notice anything of merit. If, for some ungodly reason, you are interested in buying one yourself, you can pick it up here for the bargain price of £4. Good luck with those poor life choices.

In the meantime, my friends, I give you my new MUA paperweight.

FYI, it was rubbish at that, too.

FYI, it was rubbish at that, too.

Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask by The Body Shop

I LOVE facemasks.

I really, really do.

Anytime I discover a new brand, or a new store, the first thing I do is make a beeline to the facemask section. I’ve been doing facemasks on myself since I was pretty young, and I truly believe the right mask can make the world of difference.

I have a ton. As of writing, I think I have just under 20 face masks in my possession, which I use in rotation. I use them all for different reasons; clay, if I’m having a day in which my face looks like an oil slick. Brightening, if I’m feeling less than luminous. Moisturising, to combat winter dryness. Peel-off, for when I want to feel like a kid who’s gone mental with PVA glue.

I’m always buying new ones, and willing to try every single one I find, but I also have some which I preference, ones which I repurchase, with a proven history of effectiveness. The one I’m writing about today is one of these. I was using it last night, and it suddenly occurred to me that despite being a facemask obsessive, I’ve never really blogged about them. This madness must end!!!!

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This little fella is the Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask by The Body Shop. The following attributes are pulled from their website;

This revitalising clay mask cleanses skin and controls excess oil.

  • Draws out impurities
  • Clarifying
  • Refreshing

I should mention at this point that I have a massive bias towards clay masks. This is for a number of reasons; I have a pretty oily T-zone, for one thing, and clay is the best thing for oily skin. I also love the idea of slathering on a really thick mask, a hefty layer of mud, and having all the grim and dirt soak up into it like a sponge. You can really only get this effect with a clay mask, and that’s the reason I was first drawn to this one.

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As you can see, this is truly a mud mask, to a massive degree. It’s SO thick. It may be the thickest mud mask I’ve ever used. You truly have to dig in order to scoop out a fingerful of this stuff; it’s the kind of nightmare mud that used to make me hate hockey at school.

Fortunately, on your face, it’s heaven. It’s thick, gritty, and really feels like it’s gonna super power its way through your face, taking all dirt and oil with it. It’s so thick that you really don’t need a massive amount to get solid coverage, which is fantastic, as it means you can get more uses out of it.

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Another great thing about this mask is how fast it dries. Most mud masks take their own sweet time, but this one is crusty in under 10 minutes; practically a miracle given how thick it is. It also does this pretty cool thing where it shows you what it’s doing; as you can see in the pictures below, as it dries, you can see oily spots on my nose, where the mask is soaking up the grossness.

Go ahead, look at my oily pores. I dare you.

Go ahead, look at my oily pores. I dare you.

I can’t even explain how much fun this is to observe. It’s like using that mouthwash where you spit all the bacteria into the sink afterwards; gross, but intensely satisfying.

My skin always feels great after I wash this mask off. Fresh and clear, without a drop of oil in sight. It brightens up my T-zone considerably, and I feel like it keeps oil at bay for at least a few days afterwards.

It has a lovely, fresh, oceany smell (that would be the seaweed then) which makes me feel like I’m having a proper, spa facial. I can’t speak to what it tastes like, but my cat seemed to enjoy it.

That's fine Parsley, you go right ahead and snack on my face.

That’s fine Parsley, you go right ahead and snack on my face.

There had to be a downside, of course, and here it is; this is one of those masks that can sting like hell on earth. If you’ve ever had a stingy face mask, you know exactly what I mean. That horrid, itchy, burning sensation that makes you want to wash off the mask STRAIGHT AWAY before you lose all the skin on your face. That feeling.

Now to be fair, I don’t get this all the time. It happened the first 2 times I used it, and lasted for about a minute before settling down. I’ve always told myself this is just my skin being super cleaned, but I really don’t know if that’s true. It certainly is true that after my skin got used to it, the stingy feeling went away, never to return, but I still feel like I need to warn you. If you have sensitive skin, this may be one to avoid.

I do love it, though. It’s one of the more satisfying mud masks I’ve used, and the gritty texture gives you a bit of exfoliation when you wash it off.

You can buy it here for £13, and according to their website it’s a bestseller, which I can totally understand. An amazing face mask for a solid price, with only a slight chance of extreme face burn. I call that a win!

Ren V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream

Today’s review is something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a long time; so long, in fact, that when I went to find the website link for the product, I found out it now has a different name. as a result, the product in the pictures is Ren Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream, but the product I’m reviewing is V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream.

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I’m not sure I’m a fan of the new name, to be honest. “V-Cense” sounds like a chastity club to me, not an epic face cream. Plus, having Frankincense written on the tube made me feel a little bit Christmassy every time I used it. Still, at least they haven’t discontinued it.

I actually feel really bad that I didn’t review this sooner, as this product was pretty revolutionary for me. Up until the point that I tried this, I had a pretty so-so relationship with night cream. I had tried loads, and there were some that woke me up with nice skin, some that didn’t, but none that really gave me the ‘wow’ factor I was looking for. I did find this wow factor by using Bio Oil as a night cream, incidentally, but that’s different; Bio Oil is a super strength, regenerating skin oil, and I was just USING it as a night cream. An actual, fully fledged night cream that actually amazed me was proving frustratingly elusive.

I got a teeny mini tube of this free with a magazine, and I instantly stuck it in my handbag and forgot about it. Fast forward a few months; I was at my boyfriends, and my night cream had run out. I remembered this was in my handbag, slung it on, and went to bed. Didn’t really think much of it, to be honest. It smells ordinary, feels ordinary. Goes on nicely and all that jazz, but nothing stood out.

Then I woke up.

My friends, I woke up into a world of REN.

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My skin was soooo soft. And not only that, but it actually felt firmer, plumped up. I was amazed; I’ve always read about creams promising to firm and plump your skin, but I write that off as sales blurb. I never expected it to be something you could actually feel on your face, let alone overnight. But the proof was undeniable. I couldn’t stop stroking my face, marvelling at the difference the cream had made. Not only that, but when I headed into the bathroom, I was actually taken aback at how smooth and vibrant my skin looked. It was incredible!

As soon as I got into work that morning, (stroking my face in the car on the way), I went straight online and headed for the REN website to find this cream. It was a lot more than I would usually spend- £32- but I didn’t even hesitate. I put it straight in my basket and headed for the checkout. No questions asked.

That was a long time ago, and I’ve since purchased my second tube. I love this stuff. True love. It’s the only night cream that has ever given me such noticeable results, and it continues to do so after all this time. I now alternate between using this and Bio Oil, and my skin is the best It’s ever been.

This, combined with the Simple day cream I reviewed a little while back, means that I have finally achieved a goal I’ve had since my early teens; finding a reliable, amazing day/night cream set that ACTUALLY works. This does. The two of them combined have my skin in tip top condition, and I now don’t even glance at the other face creams. I don’t need to; I’ve found my destiny!

You can get hold of this cream here, and I really would recommend it. If, like me, you’ve never really found a cream that made you wake up with noticeably improved skin, then this is the stuff for you. If you can, try and find a mini tube and try it first, like I did; I’m betting you won’t be disappointed ;)

Gel Socks

The great thing about taking a blog absence is that you get to post about all the awesome things you discovered while you were away. Today’s post is about one of the best things I found, and something that has joined my staple list; gel socks.

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I actually heard about gel socks from a beauty therapist friend a while ago. I never really looked into them, but I always had them in the back of my mind, and so one day, when I was feeling particularly ugly-footed, I decided to have a google. Ebay brought up these specific ones, and I invested in a pair.

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They were nice and cheap, only around £4; searching ‘gel socks’ will bring up a whole bunch on ebay, but they are all in the same price range. They come in a clear plastic zip bag, which you are supposed to use to store them in between uses to stop them drying out.

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The idea of gel socks is simply a pair of socks that are lined with a thick, moisturising gel, giving your feet an intense moisture hit without having to put on any cream. Perfect for lazy people, basically! Here’s a picture of them inside out, so you can see the gel lining.

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Putting these on for the first time is a very strange feeling. The gel is cold, and super squishy, and it feels very odd manipulating your feet into squashy socks. (For those who hate the feeling of damp socks, I am happy to report that these are nothing like that awful sensation!) They soon warm up, though, and then they are lovely and soothing. They are a little tricky to walk in, so I recommend using them when you aren’t planning on moving for a while. You really need to leave them on for a good long while in order for them to work, so for maximum benefits I recommend you do as I do, and wear them in bed. That way, the gel will have a good long time to penetrate, really soaking into your skin. (Quick pointer; make sure you wash your feet before using these. The gel will really absorb any smells, and you don’t want stinky socks!)

You won’t believe how soft this will make your feet. Its truly mindblowing. All the nasty, rough patches will be instantly smoothed away, leaving your feet feeling baby soft. The first night I used them, I took a picture of my feet before I went to bed, then after I woke up, and you can see the difference. The obviously dry, white, flaky skin is gone, replaced by fresh, pink, baby softness. Miracles. (please ignore the horrid, skanky state of my nasty feet!)

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Now, are you ready for the bad news?

It doesn’t last.

There had to be a catch, didn’t there? And there it is. Stick on your normal socks, go about your day, and later your feet will have returned to their natural state. It’s sad but true. However, I do have a few pointers for you.

  1. Keep it up. I wear these pretty much every night, and though I am never as baby soft as I am first thing, my feet have vastly improved. It’s all about persistence!
  2. Use foot cream in the morning. Once you have taken them off, slather your feet in a lovely thick cream, and really rub it in, before you put on your normal ‘day’ socks. This will really help your feet to maintain the softness they have captured overnight.

Use these on the regular, and I guarantee, your feet will thank you. the picture above was the first time I used these; since then, through constant usage, my feet are nice and smooth all of the time. For the cost of only a few pounds, it’s so worth it. I’ve bought pairs of these for most of the people I know now, and they all love them; and so will you!

China Glaze Water You Waiting For

The first nail polish I ever got was blue. I was quite young, I’d guess about 7 or 8, and it was free with a magazine I wanted. (Maybe Shout? What a great read that was!) I was beyond thrilled, and I painted all my fingers and toes (badly) as soon as I got home. It was a perfectly hideous colour. At the time I didn’t care, but as I got older and actually started to buy my own stuff, I remembered how awful the blue was and instinctively stayed away from blue polish. That prejudice lasted years and years. Even now, I hesitate before buying a blue polish, which is why I ummed and aaahed for a while before ordering this one.

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My red and gold Hunger Games polish (reviewed here) was solely responsible for me buying this, as I loved that one so much. This one is from their Cirque du Soleil collection, which I think is a few years old? I got mine on ebay for a few pounds.

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It’s a very dense glitter, made of dark and light blue chunks, and just looking at the bottle made me think of the ocean. I wasn’t sure how much coverage it would have, so I painted it over a plain blue, but I honestly don’t think I needed to. This is 3 coats, which gave me a heavy coat of glitter.

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It really does look like the ocean, multi-tonal and shimmery, and very beautiful! This picture is true to the colour, but doesn’t show how sparkly it is. I took this second, out of focus picture to demonstrate the ultra-glitter effect.

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Sparkly much! With the combo of the blue shades and the ultra-shine, this really does look like you’ve painted to ocean on your nails. The closest to a starlit sea I’ve ever seen!

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I was looking for a gorgeously glitter polish that looked like the sea, and this definitely ticks those boxes. I was super happy with it.

And yet….I just don’t love it. I don’t blame the polish; I can see it’s beautiful. I think it’s just my own stupid prejudice! My pre-teen self has totally ruined me for any blue polish, even a gorgeous one! I wore it for a day or two, and I just couldn’t convince myself to fall head over heels. It’s the weirdest thing; I could look at it and see how fab it was, but I just couldn’t stop myself feeling ‘meh’ about it. Random. I like it, sure. But through no fault of it’s own, it’s likely to take a backseat in my collection. Don’t let this put you off if you are interested; I can wholeheartedly recommend it as a gorgeous shade. I just can’t handle blue!

 

 

Goody Dry Brush.

Regular readers may be aware that last year I gave up heat styling in order to improve the health of my hair. This actually proved shockingly easy, and I will be reporting back on that soon, but before that I wanted to report on a brush that I bought before all that, and then barely got a chance to use: the Goody Dry Brush.

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I really don’t know why I bought this. I didn’t need it. I even KNEW that I was about to give up heat styling. But I bought it anyway. Why? Ummm….I blame the gimmick. It’s a towel brush. A TOWEL BRUSH people. Just look at it!

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The people at Goody have basically just taken a regular paddle brush and shoved some microfiber towling in between the bristles. This, they claim, will soak up water and help dry hair 30% faster. And, most importantly, TOWEL BRUSH.

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It’s a nice, chunky thing, easy to hold, easy to use and all that shebang. I thought it might feel weird, but it doesn’t; it brushes just like normal, and you can’t tell the towel is there. The back of the brush is pretty hefty, I think due to the large ventilation shaft which I assume is there to help circulate the air during drying.

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The million dollar question, though, is does it work? Um…I don’t know. I think so? I definitely feel like it dries my hair faster, but not like, miraculously so. I can’t honestly shout from the rooftops about it, which, given the £12.49 I paid for it, I really wanted to. I like using it, but mainly because it feels like I’m using something specifically made for purpose; like using a proper luggage tag instead of a shabby bit of ribbon to identify your suitcase. It makes me feel ‘proper’. But that’s about it.

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To give this brush it’s due, I am never really pressed for time when I dry my hair, and I think that’s what it’s for. I will always preference leaving my hair bundled in a towel for 30 minutes after washing, to soak up the water, which is DEFINITELY a more effective method of speeding up the blow drying process than this brush. However, it inevitably adds 30 mins prep time, so if you can’t spare that, you might be onto a winner here.

So. To sum up.

If you are the kind of person who likes to wrap their hair in a towel to soak up the water while they do their nails and makeup, before eventually blow drying after a nice leisurely wait, then don’t get this brush. The towel will do the heavy lifting, and this brush will become superfluous.

If, however, you are looking for a way to leap out of the shower and immediately grab the dryer, then this brush may just be the time saver you have been looking for. I bought mine from Boots, but I’m sure its available most places.

Unfortunately for me, I am the former. But hey, that’s why I buy this stuff. So you don’t have to!

Magazine Freebies Roundup: November 2014

After a few quiet months, UK magazines have finally got their act together and given us some decent freebies! As per usual, I’m starting with the least interesting.

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In Style: Murad Cleanser

A mini Murad cleanser from In Style this month. It’s a nice travel size, and it calls itself ‘luxury’ which is always good. Can’t speak for the brand, as I’ve never tried it, but it sounds decent enough! It describes itself as an AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser, which in my opinion is a great thing; can’t get enough of those fruit exfoliants! It also calls itself ‘age reform’ though, and since I don’t quite feel old enough for age reform yet, that combined with my lack of affection for the magazine put me off buying it.

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 Cosmopolitan: Nip + Fab Body Cream

Can we take a second to appreciate the fact that Queen Taylor of Swift is on the cover? Looking particularly fabulous and wintery in purple, no less! Yes, I totally love Taylor. So should we all. End of.

Anyway, Cosmo are offering a Nip  + Fab ‘Slim Fix’ moisturiser, which describes itself as a  2 in one toning gel. Which is great, I guess, but I just don’t believe you can buy skinny in a tube. I don’t have to find out, either, as unfortunately I bought my copy at WHSmith before I spotted this freebie in Tesco. So If you fancy it, looks like it’s a Tesco exclusive!

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 Glamour: Nails Inc Nail Polish

This one I bought without hesitation, since I am A) a HUGE fan of Glamour (best mag ever) and B) a big Nails Inc fan. I chose a lovely dark purple shade, but there was also a warm, shimmery red, a maroon brown and a gold beige.

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 Elle: Benefit They’re Real Eyeliner

Reasons I haven’t bought this yet:

  • I don’t really care for Elle magazine
  • I was very disappointed by the “They’re Real” mascara
  • I have about 20 eyeliners already

Reasons I will probably go and buy it before the end of the month:

  • I kinda want to try out this new eyeliner, as it’s been getting great reviews.
  • £4, while expensive for a magazine, is a delightful price to pay for a handbag size Benefit eyeliner
  • I can’t resist a mini

So, whilst I imagine I will end up with this, I haven’t yet indulged. The reasons that it’s worth getting are undeniable, though, so do let me know if you go for it!

Simple SPF30 Protecting Moisture Cream

You guys, I am SO excited about the product I’m talking about today.

As regular readers will know, I have a minor obsession with suncream. Being very pale and freckled, this is down to necessity, but I am also rather passionate about getting other people to use suncream, even if they think they don’t need it. A tan is just as dangerous a cause of skin cancer as burning is!

Whilst I’m not asking everyone to be as militant about applying suncream as I am, I do think that people should be using an spf face cream, daily, as a standard. Not only does it protect you from the obvious dangers, but it also protects your skin from ageing, and as a result an SPF day cream is really something everyone should have in their armoury all year round.

I’ve reviewed a couple before, specifically the super strength SPF50 SunSense one (great for summer and holidays) and the delicately scented Soap and Glory SPF25 one (which I was greatly enamoured with for a while, but over time became less of a fan of the slightly sticky texture on my oily skin.) In both cases, I wasn’t happy with the shiny, dewy finish, and in the case of the Soap and Glory, I was very aware that I hadn’t quite reached the recommended SPF30 minimum.

After the incredibly bright summer we had this year, I was even more determined to find an SPF30 face cream which ticked all the boxes for me, which, as a reminder, are the following;

–          Have a light texture

–          Absorb super-fast

–          Have a high SPF

–          Make my skin soft

With a fresh surge of determination, I got onto Google, ready to hunker down and find an amazing face cream, no matter how long it took.

It took me less than a minute.

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I am utterly clueless as to how I didn’t spot this before. Maybe it’s new?! I hope so, because if not I feel like a total fool for not seeing it. Simple is one of those classic, go-to brands, that for some reason I’ve never actually used! I came across this cream pretty fast, though, and I was amazed as I read the description; it seemed to have everything I was looking for.

From the description on the back…

“For protected and radiant looking skin…

Our Protecting Moisture Cream SPF30 is a perfect blend of multi-vitamins and skin-loving ingredients with SPF protection to give dehydrated, tired and dull skin a boost of hydration while protecting it from UVA & UVB rays. The light texture absorbs quickly into your skin to rapidly replenish moisture levels for up to 24 hours. Perfect even for sensitive skin.

Simple goodness…

  • · 2 Vitamins
    • Vitamin B3
    • Vitamin E
  • · 2 Skin Loving Ingredients
    • Glycerin
    • Sweet Almond Oil
  • · No Artificial Perfume or Colour and No Harsh Chemicals”

I was pretty darn excited from the description; the words ‘light texture’ and ‘quickly absorbed’, 2 items on my wishlist, are literally written right there on the bottle. The references to ‘a boost of hydration’ and ‘replenished moisture levels’ seemed to tick the ‘making skin soft’ box, and not only was the SPF the recommended 30, but it contains both UVA (for skin cancer protection) and UVB (for wrinkle protection)! Perfection itself! And not only that, but as it was on sale for about £3.50, insanely cheap, and ¼ of the price of my previous Soap and Glory!

I will admit to being slightly worried when I first pressed the dispenser; the cream was bright, bright white, just like all the super sticky suncreams I’ve ever used, and seemed incredibly thick. It also dispensed a large amount in one pump, as you can see below.

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But I shouldn’t have been worried. I can’t deny this feels thick when you smear it on, but it literally sinks into your skin in under 30 seconds. LITERALLY. You go from having white smears all over your face to matte perfect skin in less than half a minute; it’s really rather miraculous. That’s another thing I adore; the matte finish. All my other suncreams have left me with a dewy, slightly sticky finish; not so this one. Matte skin perfection, which for someone with my oily skin is pretty darn impressive. It’s ready to have makeup on top in about a minute, but if you leave it plain your face will feel so soft that you won’t be able to stop touching it.

Not only that, but it genuinely is kind to skin. I’ve been using it for about a month, every day, and in the last week I’ve stopped wearing makeup. Completely. I am totally bare faced as I write this, and I couldn’t be happier. Here I am, right this second, naked faced and proud!

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My skin genuinely looks the best it ever has, and I even thing my biggest bugbear- my pink cheeks- is actually improving. God knows how, but I have found a high SPF day cream that actually IMPROVES your skin. Before this, I had always believed that only a good night cream was worth investing in, as day cream couldn’t put iteslf to work in the same way, but Simple have proved me wrong. A.mazing.

So, to sum up, it’s perfect and fabulous and wonderful. It not only makes a wonderful base for your makeup (if you need it after how fab it makes your skin!) but it also ensures that your neck, chest, arms and hands are all receiving sun protection every day. It makes your skin amazing, and everyone should buy it right now. The end. No arguments. DO IT.

So Close, Yet So Far; an Ode to the Dearly Departed Boots Botanics Radiant Red Conditioner.

Regular readers will be well aware of my constant struggle to find a great shampoo and conditioner; I’ve never found one that makes my hair feel/look amazing, it’s pretty much just always the same. Don’t get me wrong, I like my hair, but I’d love for it to be soft and shiny; for me, those 2 are the holy grail of hair products, and a pinnacle I’m yet to reach.

Back at the beginning of the year, I noticed this Boots Botanics Radiant Red Conditioner conditioner reduced to 99p and, being a red head, I figured it was worth a shot. I wasn’t holding out much hope, as even expensive conditioners never seem to give me the wow factor when it comes to my hair, and as a result, when I got home I tossed it into my bathroom drawer and left it there.

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About a month ago I came across it when looking for a conditioner to take to the pool with me. I tossed it carelessly into my bag and slathered it on my head post swim, my only brief thought being that I hated the texture. Little did I know what  was to come.

My first inkling that this conditioner might be better than its ‘own-brand, reduced-to-99p’ origins suggested was when I rinsed it off. My hair felt soft, even when wet; a phenomenon I’ve rarely encountered. Then I dried it off. And oh my God.

My hair was amaze. Smooth, sleek, manageable; none of the puffiness I usually get from blow drying my curly hair. My hair colour was suddenly fresher, brighter-redder!-and it was so bright and shiny it was like a mirror on top of my head. and the softness. Don’t get me started. I spent a good few minutes in the mirror stroking my hair in amazement, and spent the rest of the day grabbing it in astonishment at random intervals, just to check it was true. My boyfriend even commented on how soft it was and how great it looked; boys don’t notice anything!!!

It was love. True love. I was obsessed, overjoyed. But then there was that niggling feeling. This had been reduced. And I was pretty sure there was a mountain of matching bottles on the sale shelf at the time. A quick Google confirmed my suspicions; it had been discontinued.

You cannot imagine the depths of my despair. My unending mission, my search for the perfect conditioner, had ended and begun again simultaneously, and I was cursing my bad luck. I felt guilty about my terrible treatment of my dear conditioner; the way I left it floundering alone for months, my low expectations, the glob I dropped on the shower floor in the pool when I was carelessly heaping on a massive handful. How could I have been so callous? Even more so, I was haunted by the dozens of bottles I had seen alongside mine on the sale shelf in boots that fateful day when I picked this one up. if I had just bought them all, I’d be in hair happiness for at least the next few years! If I had access to a time machine, I truly would have used it for that.

I took to scouring online, searching high and low, and I did manage to locate one paltry bottle on ebay for £5, a bottle which is still unopened, reserved for special occasions. To date I have sent 4 emails to Boots, begging them to recomission it, but I have been unsuccessful. If I had found this sooner, if this was still available, there isn’t a shadow of a doubt in my mind that it would have become my regular conditioner; the first ever hair product I would have bought again and again without hesitation. As it is, it will forever haunt me that I didn’t find and appreciate this conditioner until it was too late; that we will forever be two ships passing in the night.

Dear reader, I am happy to report that there is a happy ending to this story. In my unending search to find a replacement, I put in an ungodly amount of effort; the amount of work I have never before put into hair products. As a result, I managed to find not just a replacement product, but a whole other cast of characters, all of which have combined to make my hair better than it ever has been. I will be attempting to review each and every item I ended up finding and loving over the next month, along with the full story of my struggle to find a replacement, but I didn’t want to combine it in this page; I felt that my first love deserved its own article, even if it is no longer with us. So goodbye, Botanics. You will always be the one that got away. If any of you have one lurking somewhere, I urge you to dig it out; the combination of honey, henna and coconut is one that is unparalleled, and the only regret you will have is that you’ll never be able to get it again.